Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic are all interested in a move for midfielder Glenn Whelan, The Irish Sun has reported.
Whelan is currently a free agent after being released by Aston Villa earlier in the summer, having helped the club win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs last season.
According to the report, that desire to remain in England has seen Whelan turn down an offer from Cypriot side Pafos, and the midfielder is expected to favour a return to the Championship over a move to Scotland, where Premier League sides Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian are also apparently interested in the Republic of Ireland international.
Prior to his move to Villa in the summer of 2017, Whelan spent nine years with Stoke City, making almost 300 appearances for the Potters, who had been linked with a move to bring the midfielder back to the bet365 Stadium earlier in the summer transfer window.
To be fair to Whelan, his experience with Villa last season does seem to suggest that he still capable of performing in the Championship, but I’m slightly surprised by certain aspects of this report even so.
Irrespective of Whelan’s pedigree and capability, both Blackburn and Cardiff seem to be pretty well stacked in terms of both numbers and quality in the centre of their own midfields, so I can’t really see this particular transfer being any sort of a priority for either of those sides.
With Cardiff, in particular, having money to spend after the departures of the likes of Kenneth Zahore and Bruno Ecuele Manga, not to mention their Premier League parachute payments, you feel they will still be able to make some monetary transfers should they want to, rather than being forced to target a free transfer such as this one.
Charlton, however, are a different matter. Following the expiration of both Josh Cullen and Krystian Bielik’s loans at the club, The Addicks do seem rather short on numbers in that midfield, and Whelan’s experience and ability could make him a valuable asset for Lee Bowyer’s side as they look to secure survival in the second tier next season.
It could be interesting to see how tempting a move to The Valley proves to be for Whelan, and I would expect that to be his best chance of a Championship return out of the three clubs mentioned as being interested in him here.